The parade to celebrate the Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series has come and gone, but the biggest news of the day came before the duck boats started rolling through the streets of Boston. The first big question of the offseason for the Red Sox was whether or not David Price was going to opt into the final four years of his contract. This was never much of a question until the last few weeks, as it seemed pretty much impossible he would even consider hitting the open market and leaving the guaranteed money (four years, $127 million) on the table. However, his stock has certainly risen with his performance in the postseason, and there was some doubt as to whether he’d be back, particularly when considering his....rocky relationship with the Boston media. Well, he nixed that idea. Price will be back for the remainder of his deal.
David Price says he’s not opting out.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) October 31, 2018
Although the likelihood of the Red Sox lefty opting out probably did increase after his run in the postseason, it was still not much of a question. The fact is that he was never going to make the money he’s owed if he hit the open market again. I am of the firm belief that last offseason is going to be the new norm around the league, except in cases like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper when the player is still young upon hitting free agency. For a pitcher like Price, entering his age-33 season, he was not going to get that kind of guarantee.
Ultimately, this is still good news for the Red Sox, even if the contract is a bit inefficient. Price showed, not only in the postseason but for most of the regular season, that he has adjusted his pitching style to compensate for what age has taken from him. He may not have the consistent fastball velocity of his younger days, but his cutter is magnificent when located and he can lean more heavily on his changeup for deadly results. There’s also the matter of his media relationship, which I think overshadows how much he truly enjoys being on the Red Sox. Meaning, I believe he loves the organization and the clubhouse, and he can deal with the media for all of those things. Plus, he said yet again on Wednesday that he wants to win with this team. He’s done it once, and he’s ready to do it again. With the top two pitchers in the rotation back for another go-around in 2019, let’s make it happen again real soon.